James Day

Research Associate

James Day is an experimental physicist and research associate with the Quantum Matter Institute. He completed his PhD from the University of Alberta in 2008, and spent his time there exploring the fundamental properties of quantum solid helium-4. He has been at UBC, in various capacities, ever since.

His expertise is in low temperature physics, scanning tunneling microscopy, microwave spectroscopy, and physics education. Roughly speaking, he studies how electrons behave in exotic materials, and how students behave in first-year physics labs.

He loves science outreach, cares deeply about equitable learning, and is continually attempts to do better. He strives to actively contribute to his profession, and loves collaborating with others and sharing his insights. He tries to spend his time meaningfully and efficiently, and is committed to life-long learning and adaptability. He sees new challenges as opportunities for growth. He is so excited to be a part of the Ars Scientia team.

Shahrzad Abbasi

Communications Manager

Zad is Blusson QMI’s Communications Manager. She leads the Institute’s Communication & Engagement Portfolio. Before joining Blusson QMI, Zad was a Media & Public Relations Officer for a government-funded innovation network in Australia co-led by the University of New South Wales (UNSW) and the University of Sydney called the NSW Smart Sensing Network (NSSN). As a former sessional academic at UNSW, Zad has worked with over 200 students by teaching several senior-level undergraduate courses, including Integrated Brand Communications, Discourse Analysis and Promotion, and Social Innovation and Promotion. Zad holds two master’s degrees in Advertising & Public Relations and Communications & Journalism from UNSW Sydney.

Zad’s pronouns are She/Her/Hers.

Paola Baca

Managing Director
Sarah Burke Associate Professor Department of Physics and Astronomy

Sarah Burke

Associate Professor

Jasmine Chipman Koty

Project Manager, Research & Reporting

As Project Manager, Research & Reporting, Jasmine takes the lead on data management for SBQMI. She facilitates data collection, analysis, and information sharing to support the institute’s reporting and communications. Since joining SBQMI in 2017, Jasmine has worked at the intersection of research and business operations, strengthening collaboration between faculty and administration towards executing the research strategy.

Jasmine holds a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from McGill University, a Master’s in Social Science, Human Ecology from Lund University, and Project Management Professional (PMP) certification.

Kirsty Gardner

Postdoctoral Fellow

Christina Hofer

Postdoctoral Fellow

Christina Hofer is a postdoctoral fellow at the Quantum Matter Institute. She completed her PhD at the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics/Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich in 2021. Her research focused on the development of field-resolved spectrometers in the mid-infrared spectral range, used to detect changes in the composition of human blood samples for early cancer detection.

Here at QMI, Christina applies her ultrafast laser and spectroscopy expertise to building spectrometers both for an application in mining and the study of low-dimensional materials developed at the institute.

As a woman in physics/optics in particular, Christina has been working in a male-dominated field for a decade. She considers creating an environment where particularly women are seen and listened to a crucial step towards more equality. When not in the lab, you can find Christina at a skating rink or exploring the beaches and mountains around Vancouver.

Susana Mendez Álcala

Large Grants and Awards Officer

As QMI’s Large Grants and Awards Officer, Susana works closely with faculty and other stakeholders to develop competitive grant proposals and nomination dossiers. She identifies funding opportunities and awards, and manages submission processes. Susana earned her BASc from UBC and has extensive experience in BC’s high tech sector where she worked for several local start-ups before joining UBC in 2011, and specifically QMI in 2016.

Ziliang Ye, Team Lead; SBQMI, UBC Physics & Astronomy

Ziliang Ye

Assistant Professor